Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Bravest But Dumbest of Birds in Maricopa County

The name of this post might sound strange.  It is definitely very strange, but it's also true.  Birds may be brave, but yet so dumb at the same time.  Some of these birds are practically asking to be killed, others are just satisfied for a seed, even if it is way far and away from home.  Recently, Magill Weber and I went birding, and it seemed if our day was highlighted by brave and dumb avains.  On a quest into Maricopa County's higher elevation to see if we could win the Nutcracker lottery (without luck!), we were entertained by "dummies".

Let's start with this Horned Lark.  We went to Scottsdale's Rousseau Sod Farms in search of Longspurs, but we found this Horned Lark instead.  He decided to run up to my truck and then run along with it as we drove.  On one of the pictures below, the forward motion is obvious.  It was awesome to see it this close, but hey this lark drank too much larkquor.

Just down the street from the Horned Lark was this moron of an Osprey.  I wouldn't call this bravery, but stupidity.  We drove up on this Osprey, and he was eating his spectacular catch on the grass.  Who would want their meal to be covered in grass?  I know I wouldn't, and the Osprey couldn't fly to a nearby powerpole that abound nearby to eat his fish just scaly instead of the scaly-grassy combination.  But once again, it was awesome to see it this close, despite the fact the bird has issues.

On a stop at the Salt River, we knew about a few Mountain Chickadees that have been hanging out in the area.  The Salt River isn't in the Rockies by any means, but is in a desert dominated region.  The chickadee flew over nearby Transition Zones in order to have the mesquite seeds and beans, whatever they are.  Just northeast of the Salt River is the Mazatzal Mountains, which are full of good wintering Chickadee habitat.  But this guy ignored them.  Once again, it was cool to see them here, but the word "Dummie" still came out of our mouths.

When we drove up to a Least Sandpiper, it boldly stood it's ground.  After all, it was on it's favored cement drain.

We then stumbled upon this American Pipit on the same cement canal drain.  It ran down into the drain at first, but after awhile, it came back up and stood it's ground, while the Least Sandpiper still stood nearby.

The Clark's Nutcrackers didn't show up at Mount Ord like Magill and I had hoped for.  Instead, we found a handfull of crazy birds, represented in these photos.  It was a great day of birding, and some days are fun when you just have a lot to laugh at.  The following day, I went out to Lake Pleasant, and I found another brave and dumb bird.  A pair of Rock Wrens that seem to find their home right in the Scorpion Bay parking area.  Here they hopped on the sidewalk, ran under and on vehicles, sat on lightposts, and acted more hard core dumb than even a rock.  As long as these birds are cooperative for photographs, I don't mind the Bravest but yet Dumbest Birds in Maricopa County!

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